Wednesday, January 11, 2023

SBF sacrificed to the Crypto-Moloch @3QD

Whoops! I missed it. My latest piece for 3 Quarks Daily went up last week:

SBF from Girard to Dawkins to Xanadu

SBF to Girard to Dawkins to Xanadu? WTF!!?

SBF is Sam Bankman-Fried, of course, the once-upon-a-time crypto billionaire turned indicted felon. Rumor has it that he likes to be known by his initials. I begin by suggesting that, in that, he is perhaps imitating other Cool People who are known by their initials, MBS perhaps. Though some might think that MBS is merely obscenely rich and too powerful for the good of his people, and that is not cool. Not cool at all.

But what do I know? I’m not a billionaire and so can’t and don’t think like one. Anyhow, I wasn’t offering an assertion I’d take “to the mattresses” about, but merely offering up a conjunction to get the essay rolling. But it’s a conjunction that allows me to introduce Rene Girard, who theorizes about imitation, imitation and desire.

With Girard on the table we go to another triple initial guy, DJT, who built a Xanadu nightclub in his Atlantic City casino. And that brings us to another triple threat, STC. STC is Samuel Taylor Coleridge and he gave us Xanadu, which is the second word in his most famous poem, “Kubla Khan.” Once we start following “Xanada” around, that puts us in bed with Richard Dawkins, who was also interested in imitation. But not so much people imitating other people out of a desire to be like them or have what they have. He’s just interested in how we imitate ideas and aesthetic preferences and so forth, and thus culture spreads.

Somehow I take this all the way back to the original Xanadu, which was Kubla Khan’s summer capital almost a millennium ago and then zip back to the present where I return to my starting point: SBF. He’s going to trial. Will it be an “ordinary” trial, albeit it will likely be highly publicized and closely observed, which takes it out of the ordinary, or will he be pilloried? While prosecutors make an example of him? If so, we’re back in Girard’s camp, this time we’re dealing with his concept of sacrifice.

If SBF is sacrificed, what will he be sacrificed for?

No comments:

Post a Comment